Abad Appointed Supreme Court Justice

Article excerpt

Dean Roberto A. Abad of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law was appointed Friday Supreme Court (SC) justice by President Arroyo to complete the 15-justice High Court.Abad is the second law graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdeMU) appointed by the President to the highest court of the land in less than two weeks. He took his oath of office Friday before Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno.Last July 29, the President appointed Court of Appeals Associate Justice Mariano C. del Castillo, a 1971 AdeMU graduate, to the SC. Justices Del Castillo and Abad, a 1968 AdeMU graduate, replaced retired Justices Ma. Alicia Austria Martinez and Dante O. Tinga, respectively.Del Castillo and Abad were among the six nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for the two vacant posts. Despite a request by the Office of the President to expand the list for the two SC positions, the JBC stood firm on its nominations invoking constitutional provisions.Three more SC justices are set to retire this year. They are Senior Justice Leonardo A. Quisumbing on Nov. 6, Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago on Oct. 5, and Justice Minita V. Chico Nazario, Dec. 5.Justice Abad is the sixth non-judiciary member appointed to the SC by President Arroyo. The others were retired Justices Adolfo S. Azcuna and Dante O. Tinga, and incumbent Justices Antonio T. Carpio, Renato C. Corona, and Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura.Of the 15 SC justices, only Senior Justice Quisumbing is a non-Arroyo appointee having been named to the post by former President Fidel V. Ramos. While Chief Justice Puno was also a Ramos appointee, it was President Arroyo who chose him as head of the judiciary.With Quisumbing’s retirement in November this year and with the appointment of his replacement within 90 days from the vacancy, it could be said that by that time, all the 15 members of the SC are all appointees of President Arroyo.Prior to his appointment, Justice Abad was the senior partner of the Abad Law Firm and has been UST law dean since February, 2008.Justice Abad, 66, was a dean’s lister at AdeMU. He first engaged in private law practice, working for about a year at the Jose W. Diokno Law Office in 1968 before he joined the government as technical assistant (1969-1973) and associate attorney (1974-1975) at the SC during the time of the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro. …